Bird Reports 2013 next

Report from Stapleford Bird Club - 2nd November 2013

Saturday 2nd November was overcast and gloomy when five birdwatchers met in the car park on the Magog Down where we heard three robins, a magpie, two blackbirds, a green woodpecker and a wood pigeon. We saw two greenfinches feeding among rose hips in the hedge backing on to the dog field and in the hedge near the notice board was a dunnock.

As we moved onto the North Down a chaffinch flew past and in Youth Wood we heard two blackbirds and a blue tit. The Old Shelter Belt and Magog Wood were quiet apart from a blue tit and the North Down itself was empty. Southwards on the arable fields were a flock of gulls, too distant to be identified. As we skirted round Little Trees Hill a large bird flew up in the distance, almost certainly a buzzard. The clunch pit was very quiet apart from some unidentifiable murmurings. Walking down to the Parish Pit we heard a chaffinch. The Feoffees Fields were empty but in the field beyond were four crows. As we skirted the bottom of the clunch pit a kestrel flew up to the top of the hill from the South Down. We had a good view of the green woodpecker perching on a fence post nearby before flying off towards the Old Shelter Belt. 
From the clunch pit down to the electricity pylons we heard three robins, a magpie and two blackbirds. Half a dozen blue tits were moving down the hedge and then flew over us into Villedomer Wood. The electricity wires and hedge below it were empty as was the hedge down to Vestey Wood but we were able to see the group of gulls on the arable field clearly – 30 or more black-headed gulls plus a single herring gull on the edge of the group.
Vestey Wood was quiet apart from a robin and blackbird as was the path alongside the A1307 where we saw two robins and two great tits. On the South Down we saw around 20 crows (possibly some juvenile rooks among them) on the fence posts and ground. Three magpies flew over near the top of the hill and we heard a great tit. As we reached the top of the hill we saw eight or more long-tailed tits which flew around and ahead of us back along the A1307 towards the car park. We saw two more robins and as we entered the car park three blue tits flew onto the tyres of a car and had a good peck. In all we saw or heard 17 species. 
The summer visitors have gone but the winter visitors have yet to arrive – apparently due to the mild autumn and abundant food in Scandinavia. We hope they will be here next month. Please note that our next meeting will be on 14th December, i.e., the second Saturday, due to other commitments. The January meeting will be on first Saturday as usual, i.e. 4th January. Meanwhile a very Happy Christmas to you all and ‘keep birdwatching’…!
                               Sue Bradley